As people ponder their 2023 New Year’s resolutions, the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging everyone to include activities to reduce risk of cognitive decline on the list. Research shows that healthy lifestyle interventions may reduce the risk of cognitive decline and help reduce the risk of dementia. There are currently more than 6 million Americans age 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s, including 410,000 here in New York.

Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, 1 in 3 seniors age 85 and older will have Alzheimer’s disease. While some brain changes are inevitable as we age, there is a growing body of research to suggest that adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors, including healthy eating, exercising regularly, not smoking and staying cognitively engaged may help us age healthier and help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Several studies on risk reduction generated considerable attention in 2022, including one that found eating a large amount of ultra-processed food can significantly accelerate cognitive decline. Another study suggests that regular physical activity, even modest or low exertion activity such as stretching, may protect brain cells against damage.

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